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Enterprise zone apps, exemptions approved

Lake County’s Board of Commissioners recently approved a pair of enterprise zone applications for two renewable energy projects.

Enterprise zone designations provide for a three-year abatement period on property taxes for eligible projects as an economic incentive.

Element Power, LLC, and Surprise Valley Electrification Corp., respectively, applied for this designation.

The former is developing a solar energy facility in Christmas Valley, while the latter is developing a geothermally-based power generation facility in Paisley.

In the case of both projects, the county approved an exemption from a previous requirement for at least one full-time employee.

The Senate recently passed House Bill 2981, which waives this requirement as solar energy projects generally do not require a full-time employee for their operations.

This exemption waives Element Power from the county’s Rural Rewnewable Energy Development Zone’s requirement of the creation of at least one full-time position.

The solar project is expected to cost an estimated $9 million.  The site upon which it will be located is currently generating a minimal amount of property taxes, but in the fourth year of the project’s operation is expected to generate an estimated $15,000 in property taxes.

Similarly, the Paisley geothermal facility is expected to have periodic maintenance requirements, and also generate at least one full-time job.  According to paperwork with the firm’s enterprise zone application, the company will enter into a First Source Hiring Agreement with Worksource of Lake County.

The cost of the machinery associated with the Paisley project is expected to exceed $11 million, with equipment installation expected this month and an estimated completion date of November.

Structures on site would be completed by March 2014.

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